TITLE: General Manager
COMPANY: Brevard County Manatees
YEARS at company: 10
YEARS IN Brevard: 10
General Manager Kyle Smith knows the “Three Bs”: Brevard, Business and Baseball. Celebrating his 10th year with the Brevard County Manatees, a Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, Smith has a heightened sense of excitement for this upcoming season, and observing a commemorative year is not the only reason why.
Smith found himself making the trek from his frigid hometown of Litchfield, Minn. for an internship with the Manatees in early 2006. Two short years later, he became one of the youngest GM’s in MiLB history. Space Coast Stadium has become his second home, and he jokes that from April to September, with over 70 home games, it’s his actual home.
Smith knows that the stadium houses much more than wholesome family outings on balmy summer nights – it offers a vehicle to connect local businesses with the approximate 100,000-plus Brevardians who visit the ballpark each season. The organization has developed lasting partnerships with Health First, Northrop Grumman, and Wuesthoff Health System as well as startups and smaller businesses looking for a platform to build their brand, all while receiving ROI. Trends in attendance are consistently growing, and that’s something that makes Smith’s job very rewarding.
The Manatees have beefed up its front office for the first time in 13 years, nearly tripling the size of its staff since Smith started. “There are more Manatees executives in our community, more ideas at our roundtables and more passion to bring creative-themed nights to our ballpark than I have ever seen,” Smith commented. “It’s an incredible feeling to know that as I reflect on my decade with the Manatees this summer, I will be able to witness, in my opinion, our best season yet.”